“What A Weird Day” Blog Carnival

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What A Weird Day...

What A Weird Day...

I recently participated in a Blog Carnival at China Story Weekly, where I submitted a story about the rough Chinese massages I had when I visited Beijing last year.

It was so much fun, I figured I’d host my own carnival: tthe “what a weird day!” Carnival!

For those who are not familiar with Blog Carnivals, the goal is to basically gather as many posts as possible on a given theme. You send me your stories through Blog Carnival, and I will publish them. The deadline is June 8th, 2009. You will get a backlink in the process if that can be an incentive too.

The theme for this month is “what a weird day!“. We all experienced a day when nothing goes as planned, when the world just looks strange, when we witness something unusual. At least I hope so… wouldn’t like being the only one!

All you have to do is submit your article at Blog Carnival (you don’t even need to register). It can be an old post or a new article written just for me (I’m flattered, really!). We are quite a multilingual crowd here, so you can write in English, but also in Spanish, French and Mandarin. Have fun!

Allow me to share one of my stories…

In fall 2006, I went back to France for a few weeks. I stayed at my parents’ place, in Nantes, where I grew up: a five storeys building in the city center.

I was studying for my Chinese exams and everyday, I followed the same ritual, which included memorizing a few hundred characters, figuring out why wenyan (ancient Chinese) was so fucked up and why I really needed to know all the changyu.

In a word, I was studying late and was rarely up before twelve.

One morning, I got up and sleepily went downstairs to pick up the mail. I opened the mail box, retrieved a bunch of junk flyers and a little sheet of A4 paper, neatly folded in two. I climbed back upstairs, sorting out the junk mail to put it directly in the recycle bin at the door. The little sheet of paper would have ended up there if I hadn’t dropped it on the floor while opening the door.

I glanced at it: it was from the city of Nantes. A word caught my eye: evacuation. I called my mum and showed her the paper. We both started giggling.

— Is it a joke?
— Well, I don’t think so.

According to the paper we had received, a WW2 American bomb had been found in the Loire, the main river crossing the city. Construction workers digging the new med school’s foundations had discovered the 500 pounds explosive, safely buried under concrete. Ooops.

The bomb wasn’t safe (gee…) and had to be defused. We were all asked to evacuate the city on the following Sunday, from 4 am. Those who had nowhere to go would be taken to the nearby stadium by the city of Nantes.

We were Thursday. My parents didn’t have a car and we were five people anyway.

We called my grand-parents, but since they only lived 500 meters away, they had received the note as well. I called some friends, but they all lived downtown Nantes, in the unsafe perimeter.

We held a family counsel. My mother didn’t want to go to the stadium: she feared that even though the city provided transportation, it would be packed. My father didn’t feel like going either: he had better things to do at 4 am on a Sunday, like sleeping. My brother and my sister wanted to stay home, because it was kind of cool. And I wanted to stay home because of all the reasons mentioned above. A no-brainer. We rarely do what we are supposed to do in my family anyway.

My parents live nearby the Quai de la Fosse, on the bank of the river. We weighted the pros and the cons, but figured that we would be fine.

Us vs. The Bomb

Us vs. The Bomb

For a couple of days, we had a lot of fun telling people we were being evacuated. I emailed Feng, who was in Ottawa, and he didn’t believe me until I send him an article.

On Saturday night, we said our prayers… no, wait a second, wrong family. We just joked and bugged each other as usual. My mother’s only concession to the bomb threat was to take her geraniums inside.

At dawn, we started to hear the civil defense’s choppers above us. Soon after, the police arrived in the supposedly empty safety perimeters do to a last check. We heard them entering our building. A few seconds later, they climbed the stairs and hammered on the door:

— Police, open this door!

We remained quiet and they eventually left to check others doors. Still, I wouldn’t like being a criminal woken up by the police at the door… feels weird.

The city center was strangely quiet but for the sound of the choppers and for the police and military cars’ flashing lights. Eventually, around noon, we heard the civil defense siren, letting us know the bomb had been safely defused.

We later learned that out of the 20,000 people who had to evacuate, only about 500 went to the stadium. Sure, some probably spent the weekend outside the city, but apparently, a lot stayed home like us. French always do the opposite of what they are supposed to do!

Anyway… that was a weird day!

How about you? Tell me about your weird day and join the Blog Carnival!

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

18 Comments

  1. I think the hardest thing will be for me to choose WHICH weird day to write about. There have been some weird weeks, years even.

    Thinking, thinking…

    It won’t have anything to do with a bomb being defused, though 🙂

  2. I’ll be the first to run! I don’t have a weird story to tell though…But I have a lot of crazy stories from my job. Ha!

  3. the french are weird. i’m glad you
    got out of there and joined the canadians.
    oh wait, that was an evacuation of sorts too!
    hide, hide!
    there are polar bears at your door.
    and canadian geese.

  4. I do recall your story of the “like an SM girl” enjoying the rough Chinese massage..lol. And this story does suit your ‘What a weird Day’ Carnival. I had a kinda ‘weird’ time the past few days till last evening too.

  5. Hi Zhu,

    So I assume that you guys were influenced by the movies and were confident enough that as usual, the heroes would eventually arrive and deactivate the bomb safely, wait a minute, there were about 19,500 people who remained silent behind the doors when the police did their final check! 🙂

    I’m always impressed with your stories, Zhu. You have so much of experiences and so many interesting things to say. I will try to submit a story if I could recall a weird day before 8th of June.

    Btw, I’m very much grateful for your continuous friendship and support.

  6. Hey Zhu,

    LOL LOL LOL oh your family reminds me of mine LOL. We would have probably stayed home as well *nodding*.

    Hmmm, I have a weird day story to tell…what do I do? I just send it to the link your provided, right?

    This will be fun!

    Cheers

  7. @Agnes – I bet you would have… you look adventurous!

    @Jensen | CS-weekly – Probably the same! All Europe is plagued by old WWII bombs, I’m sure they will find some more where I live, considering the city was bombed many times.

    @Sidney – Yes, we do 😆 Thanks for the praise!

    @Gail at Large – Now, you got me thinking as well! Please, share one of these weird moments: just pick one!

    @Bluefish – Oh, I’d settle for a crazy job story. I bet you see some weird situations – please share!

    @Final_Transit – I know, should put it on my resume 😆

    @Seraphine – In Canada, evacuating to warmer places is almost mandatory between November to April. Noy *just* because of the bears.

    @Celine – Tell us about it! I’m extremely curious 😉

    @zunnur – Maybe it was because of the movies… or I’m just so French, I like to to the opposite of what I’m told to do!

    @Max Coutinho – Yes, you just have to send the link to Blog Carnival. If you are having any trouble, just email it to me! Can’t wait to read you.

  8. I recently realized that I have signed a contract stating I’m not allowed to talk about my job…

  9. Well, let’s face it Zhu the only thing that can phase you is if they ban travelling… But then again, you would find a way to sneak out and wander the lands wouldn’t you now? Ah, bombs got nothing on you girl, just as I always suspected it…:).

    Cool story from a cool person (notice the “variety” in my vocabulary , yes? I am half asleep you see and it ain’t from your cool post girl… damn I said “cool” again… cripes, not again…).

    Take care gal!

  10. i’m not sure what’s a weird story anymore.
    every day is weird.
    like when a credit card company sends an offer to pay off a higher-rate balance with their “free” checks.
    Then two weeks later, they raise their interest rate from 7% to 17%.

  11. @Bluefish – That is really our loss!

    @Baoru – Nah, we weren’t. They really sounded and behaved like normal French police officers 😆

    @Deadpoolite – Ban traveling? Don’t. EVER. Mention. That. Again. Gonna have nightmares for good!

    @Max Coutinho – Received! 😉 Obrigada.

    @Seraphine – That is a weird… scam. Do they think you are stupid???

    You could do a weird day with your comic!

  12. Pingback: The Blog Carnival Stories Are Here! | Correr Es Mi Destino

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